The Military Aviation Authority
As a direct result of the Nimrod Review confirming my evidence of systemic airworthiness failings, the Secretary of State for Defence ordered the formation of a Military Aviation Authority (MAA). (Mr Haddon-Cave’s QC's recommendation that it be a Military Airworthiness Authority was not implemented. That would reveal culprits).
The MAA was formed in 2010. Strangely, it is staffed primarily by the RAF and consultants; very few Royal Navy, Army or civilian specialists are employed, despite it being the last who demonstrably and consistently notified senior RAF officers of the systemic failings. Or perhaps because...
The MAA's first Director General was Air Marshal Timo Anderson. In 2013 he was to be replaced by Air Vice Marshal Barry North. However, it was Air Marshal Dick Garwood who succeeded Air Marshal Anderson on 1 May 2013.
Why did Air Vice Marshal North not take up post? Interestingly, he has close links to the Mull of Kintyre crash, being an ardent supporter of the pilots. The evidence that the Chinook was not airworthy at the time, and for some time before, would not be reconcilable with his MAA remit, which was predicated on the failures only commencing in 1998. One thing is certain; to do the job properly, one must acknowledge where the real failings lie, which is career limiting. No-one with integrity would accept the post knowing these facts.
What were the new Director General's qualifications? By definition, and by MoD’s own admission, the MAA is staffed by one of two types. Those who have previously held airworthiness delegation but have not met their obligation to report failings. Or those who are too inexperienced to have held delegation, so lack the necessary practical experience.
Self evidently, a Director General must:
- Direct, and,
- Lead, by example
He has a number of choices, including:
- Continue the policy of waste which led to the (unnecessary) savings at the expense of safety.
- Continue to condone disciplinary action against staff who seek to make aircraft safe.
- Continue to protect past and presnet senior staff, in the process misdirecting MAA resources.
- Meet his legal obligation.
And what direction do his staff take? Again, they have choices:
- Meet legal obligations, or,
- Commit fraud by misrepresentation.
To you and I, the latter is a serious imprisonable offence. But in MoD it is not.
We know the answer. The MAA has continued to support illegal acts. More aircrew and passengers have died.
The opportunity to right many wrongs has been avoided. The truth has not been acknowledged, preventing MoD from moving forward. Extraordinary resource is still expended, and lies told, to protect those whose actions caused the deaths of so many. The MAA has been party to this deceit since its inception. It cannot claim otherwise; it is a matter of record that it was handed the evidence, in person, by a Minister for the Armed Forces (Nick Harvey MP). It took no action; in fact, it ignored the evidence and continued its support of those who failed deceased colleagues.
Without constant supervision, MoD slips readily into an indolent state of indecision. Self regulation exacerbates this.